Saturday, August 22, 2015

Happy 1st birthday!

I MEANT to post this on your birthday, exactly one month ago on your birthday! I even uploaded it on that day. Oh, I have the best intentions. Life is just so busy. Superbly blessed, but b-u-s-y!
My little mister. My Coffee Bean.  (I nicknamed you that because you kept me up my entire pregnancy! Thank you for being a good sleeper like your sister and letting me make up for all those hours I was awake while pregnant.) Happy 1st Birthday! A whole year has flown by.
Just like with your sister, I don’t know where the time goes. You two are growing up so fast.
I remember being pregnant with you. I remember telling your Daddy, “There isn’t enough room for both of us! I feel so FULL. There just isn’t enough room!” (My stretch marks say otherwise.) I loved taking pictures with your sister and you in utero because I could see us both grow as your due date drew closer.
You are an incredible baby. You are so sweet, serious, yet silly and fun. You are extremely cuddly. You are super duper handsome (you look just like your Daddy. When he calls you handsome, it’s almost narcissistic!;) You are a big boy – and not just the Asians say this. I can’t believe such a big baby came from me.
You bring out the best in all of us. You make me a better mama, your Dad a better daddy and your sister a better sister. I can't explain it, you just do. I guess it's because you prove that love isn't like a cup of water. That it is capable for us to love even more than we already did. You are such a blessing to us.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Mama's at a work conference

My job isn't perfect. But it is one of the best jobs I've ever had. They invest in professional development by encouraging us to attend conferences. They also let me stay at the hotel where the conference is held (always nice).
My digs for three days/two nights.
I'm grateful for this and my previous experiences make me an appreciative person. It's also kind of nice to stay at a hotel all by myself!

I'm also extremely grateful for my family because there's no way I could go anywhere overnight without their support. My husband and mom changed their daily schedules around to make up for my absence. I cannot say enough how much I love and appreciate my village.

Of course, I miss my family. I got to talk to The Bun the past two nights. It's the craziest thing because I talk to this girl every day in person. But when I was listening to her talk over the phone, it struck me how adorable she sounded. I loved listening to her talk and could hardly believe this little girl chatting on the phone is my baby.
They're holding hands. He was knocked out and she was just hanging out.
I've enjoyed my little time away. I was able to educate myself about my field and get a little bit of grown up time and alone time. It was nice but I miss my family - my husband who makes me laugh, my beautiful children and my adorable pups.
My son with his super chubby and kissable cheeks AND fauxhawk<3

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Monday, June 01, 2015

Time did it AGAIN

It got away from me!
So much going on.
One of my pups had surgery. We realized how pretentious it sounded when we said, "We're talking our dog to UC Davis for surgery on her ACL" but, really, we did it to save money. And boy, did we ever. We were quoted $1,000 more to do it in the Bay Area so it was well worth it to drive an hour and a half to Davis. She is currently on the mend but won't rest. Pili believes she has a bionic leg. She doesn't.
My little baby boy is teething. He's got TWO teeth breaking through his gums. This makes for a sad baby but I mourn a little for the fact that my last baby is no longer going to have baby's breath.
If you've ever smelled it, it's highly addicting. With The Bun, and now The Bean, one of my absolute favorite places to kiss is the chin. One, it's super soft and naturally chubby. Two, and more importantly, it puts my nose right near their lips which is usually open because they're giggling. And that's when I get a hit of that awesome baby's breath. It's sweet and only lasts until they have teeth.
Then they get that other breath:(
So I'm sniffing his mouth as much as possible before those teeth come in. I know, it's a weird thing to read but truly, there are few things that naturally smell as sweet and pure as a baby's breath. No joke.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

My beautiful baby boy.

There's something about looking at my babies sleeping, especially my youngest baby, that makes me catch my breath.
This baby, this small being who babbles, has that unmistaken sweet baby breath and smells like baby powder, this is the last time I'll experience my children in this form. At this age. I'm not going to have any more children so all their firsts are also going to be my lasts. I may be blessed later in life to experience these again as a grandmother but these moments are my last as a parent.
My handsome 9 month old and my beautiful 5 year old will some day be in their 20s, and then 30s, leading their own lives wondering why their mama is always willing to hang out with them. At the drop of the hat.
Parenthood is lovely and cruel. We spend years loving, teaching and nurturing our children. Then they grow up and want to lead their own lives, understandably, but sometimes very far away. And parents just have to accept it. Or maybe their close by but life is crazy and there's little time to spend with their parents.
And parents just accept, love, and take whatever time they're given.
I know this is my future because it's what I've seen and even what I've done and do with my own parents. Work, my own little family, chores, friends and yes, rest, all take up time.
But 30+ year ago, my world revolves around my parents, just as my kids' worlds revolve around The Man and me.
This circle of life. Crazy, isn't it?

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Slower than molasses but ...

... last time I checked in here, I was 3-4 lbs away from goal. Despite the gluttony that was my tropical vacation (for which I have no apologies!), I'm now 1-2 lbs from my goal.
This is a big deal for me.
I will not be a skinny minny at my goal. I'm sure that some will look at me and think I should keep going. But 1) it is realistic and 2) medical professionals evaluated me from head to toe and came up with my goal so 3) I'm totally behind it.
Clothes fit me differently now. I know I've written about it before but I can't find it in a quick search and I'm pressed for time so I'll repeat myself. How little ol' lady of me ... which I fully embrace.
Today I posted on IG a photo of me in a pair of pants I haven't worn in a long time, maybe 2 years. Well, I was surprised by how loose they fit because my stomach is quite soft. It's sort of an optical illusion - my stomach is trimmer but also much softer. I think it is about the size it was when I got married. While I weigh less now than my wedding day, I did have a personal trainer whip me into shape:)
But, as I've mentioned before, I'm making a concerted effort to be kind to my body. To be forgiving and loving to my body. I really like this online article because it reminded me that my body has been through a lot and I am absolutely blessed to have given birth to two beautiful babies.
So I thank my body because, while my belly is softer than my youth, it has trimmed down so much I didn't even realize it until I tried on these pants. And these are the smaller sized pants of my 10 pairs. I wore size 8 pants for a year or so after The Bun was born. I wore size 6 pants about the time I got married.
I debated holding on to these pants because, frankly, I'm scared that I will gain the weight back. And almost all of them have been hemmed professionally so that certainly added to the cost! But after being approximately this weight for months now, I think it's time to free up the room in my closet.
I'm not a completely changed woman. My downfall is chocolate, always has, always will. But I'm much better at nourishing my body with good stuff like vegetables and (mostly) staying away from junk food.
Thank you, body! You've been very nice to me.

Fallen off the wagon: Well, that was quick!

We whomped up a trip to Maui in less than 6 weeks. This is not typical of Ms. Type A over here.
With all that goes into that, working full-time and being present to a 5 year old and 8 month old (although he is turning 9 months tomorrow!), my dear blog has fallen by the wayside.
Here are snapshots of our trip:

Baby boy's first plane ride and The Bun's first trip to Maui. (I cannot believe this is her 4TH trip to Hawaii. What?!)
Then my iPhone met its untimely demise. These photos are taken by The Man's phone which were scarce because I don't think he trusted me with it. I begrudgingly write that I can't blame him.

The Bean didn't enjoy the heat coupled with the sun. We found a shady spot on the beach and we were blessed with a breezy day. We took a photo to capture his cuteness.
We stayed at Honua Kai Beach Resort which had Duke's Restaurant by the beach. We enjoyed a few meals there. I like this photo because it shows my daughter lounging in her bathing suit. She got to do that for much of this vacation.
Honua Kai offered a complimentary photo shoot. We weren't prepared to for formal photos but that's what I kind of like about it. I wore my bikini with a bright cover up and The Man wore a his bright blue workout shirt. We had baby boy in his brightest onesie and The Bun was the only one who had something that could be called, "fancy." I like how the photos ended up. (Photo shoot was free, photos most certainly were not.)
I don't know the next time we'll be in Hawaii. It was a tough flight for my baby and I don't know if The Man was able to relax. But I'm glad we were able to do it and, overall, I had a lovely time.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

A very good day

Today was one of those rare days that starts off looking blah to mediocre but ends up being a really great day.
I had a day off today and decided to get done some errands that I've been putting off for months. I had to go to the Alameda County Recorder's Office to order The Bean's official birth certificate and file a notarized and updated version of our deed. Fun stuff. I don't know about you but I imagine bad parking and long lines whenever I need to do things like that. Thus my procrastination! But we'll be traveling soon and The Bean needs his birth certificate. Figured I might as well file my seed since I know it could be taken care somewhere in the vicinity.
I asked my mom and dad if they wanted to join me and The Bean. We could go to a restaurant out that way since we're all somewhat homebodies, for various reasons.
My mom thought it was an excellent idea, especially since they wanted to get their car serviced. We were getting all sorts of errands out of the way! Again, not exciting but all things that needed to get done.
I dropped off The Bun at school and headed to my parents' car dealership. I got their relatively quickly that we detoured to pick up coffee for me and a pastry for my mom.
I know I drink decaf but ahhhhh, coffee. It's almost ritualistic for me.
We headed to downtown Oakland and since none of us were going to work or have an appointment we need to make, it was a stress-free drive.
It's the little things I've come to appreciate.
We found close street parking and headed inside the building. I hadn't been there since getting The Bun's birth certificate and I must say, I forgot how relatively easy it was there. They have a desk where you check in and let them know what you want to do. They make sure you filled out the appropriate paperwork and then give you a number. I got both things done in half an hour.
We were done before the restaurant I chose was open. My mom expressed interest in going to a bakery because, since they don't drive much anymore, her pastry places were limited. I yelped (love Yelp!) and found a bakery in Alameda.
I chose nearby Alameda instead of Oakland for one reason. My parents are elderly, we have a many with us so places with parking were much friendlier for our little group.
We found a cute bakery called Feel Good Bakery and wow, was it carb heaven! Everything looked so good. It was housed in Alameda Marketplace which looked like a local and unpretentious version of Whole Foods. It had sushi, wine and cheese, a bakery and grocery store. We parked on the street but quickly discovered they also had a parking lot. Definitely a must return.
The pastries were flawless. But we jostled them about.
My mom then expressed interest in visiting Rock Wall Wine Company, a place I used to be a member of ... before I trimmed my budget:) Love that place. It's a beautiful space that isn't pretentious (notice a theme in what I gravitate towards?) They have a spacious and lovely outdoor seating where we can enjoy the sunshine, good wine and food.
My parents indulged my desire for Vitamin D. We ate a scrumptious lunch accompanied by some delicious wine. My parents and I reminisced when the area used to be an active Military base. How we would go there once a month to go shopping at the Exchange and then groceries at the Commissary.

My parents and I had a great time. The Bean was also on his best behavior.
These moments are rare. We're so busy with day to day life that it's hard to fit in these kind days. I see my parents often and we make time for one another. But I really appreciate these beautiful impromptu moments when we can slow down and enjoy each other's company.

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Friday, March 06, 2015

A different flashback Friday.

I always joke that if I had been more confident with my body during my college years, I would have been foot loose and fancy free! I would have walked around buck nekkid, proudly displaying what the my mama gave me and sowed my wild oats. If I had listened to what my older friends told me - "You're going to look back and wish you had appreciated your looks!" -  rather than wishing I was a size 2 or 0, I would've loved myself more.
I don't know. I'm politically liberal but, regarding sex, I've always been very conservative. By that I mean my own going-ons. It was hard for me to separate the physical act with the emotional ties. I equated it with love. Believe me, I'm not saying this is right. I think it's a much more fun outlook to keep the two separated! But that's just how it is. I'm somewhat a serial monogamist.
But surprise! That's not what this post is about. Because I would have, however, had no problem flaunting my bod if I had only been more confident. And by confident, I mean not giving an eff of what other people thought about me. I had (yes, past tense) been blessed with a flat stomach. Not a hard stomach, mind you, but flat. How lucky was I?  Unfortunately, I couldn't really appreciate it at the time because I wish it had been flatter and smaller.
Now, at 36 years of age, I'm much more sympathetic of my body. Sure, I brush my fingers over what I think look like angry stretch marks, sigh, and wish they would disappear. But I also think, "my poor body." I've had four pregnancies - one cesarean section, two laparoscopic surgeries, and one vaginal birth. Oh, I have also breastfed one baby and am currently breastfeeding another. My word. Poor, poor body. I've fed myself crap, fed myself good stuff, but mostly fed my body crap. It wasn't until recently I cared about wholesome, nutritious, organic food. I've stepped it up quite a bit, thank goodness.
I have been so harsh, so judgmental. I've unfairly compared my body to the bodies of movie stars, starlets, pinups, beautiful family members and friends ... why compare at all? I've hated, HATED, my poor body when all it has has done is gone through so much. My self-loathing wasn't just about appearance but I've also been so angry about the miscarriages. How dare my body not do what it's been made to do!
But I've gotten a lot better. I've still got plenty of things to work on but I think the first was to eat better. Going hand in hand with that is to be kinder and more understanding. I know my body will never be a size 2 or 0 unless I'm depressed (it's true.) I now have a realistic goal to shoot for which has been deemed by medical professionals as healthy. So important! I also am proud of what my body has done. We've come back from two full-term births. The strain my body endured! Not to mention being shattered, seriously, shattered from the last birth. I'd say it took about six months for everything to heal internally. Poor, poor body.
I'm still hovering about 3-4 lbs from my goal weight. I get frustrated and angry that I haven't made it yet but I also know that my body is fitting clothes better than it has in a long, long time. I also know that I haven't exactly restricted myself from goodies like chocolate so how much is it my mind rather than my body? My body can only do so much by itself.
I know that I will backslide. I know that I will get very angry and upset with myself, my body. But I hope I will revisit this post and remember to be kind. Be forgiving. This body has done so much for me.
I was going to wait until I reached my goal weight but then decided, what the heck! The belly ring is back in. One might think, "She's too old to have a belly ring!" To hell with that, I say! It was either I keep it out and have a small scar or put it back in and rock it. I decided to rock it.